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Starting seeds and cuttings

In spite of the weather my work in the greenhouse is my joy. My version. I am starting seeds. Herb seeds and veggie seeds. Some seeds are quick to come up, some make me wait and wait and . . . . wait. So for now I have sorrel seed up. More about sorrel later. Some apple eucalyptus, some Thai basil. I have my seedlings and cuttings on a heat mat on a table to maintain a constant 70 degree soil substrate temperature for germination.

Its small scale but bigger than a kitchen window. This is a picture of a small tray of moringa seed. Moringa seeds are huge. They will turn into moringa trees. Dwarf trees that only get to about 30 feet tall but I have to cut them back at about 8 feet. The leaves smell like peanut butter and are packed with nutrition. Good in smoothies fresh and dried into tea. Good for Everything. More on Moringa later. This picture is fun because I am labeling it using a plastic fork to hold the top of the seed package for identification. Moringa is easily identified if the fork falls out. Its good to label with the name, seed company and date.

I have gutters mounted on the walls of my greenhouse which hold soil and seeds. This gives me more table space in my smallish greenhouse, keeps it critter free, good drainage. The lettuces are up and growing on the shadier side of my greenhouse. French thyme has been seeded in on the sunny side with a sandier soil base. French thyme is a little more difficult to start from seed and this method frees up a lot of my space for seed that I can grow and move on quicker. Good to grow in gutters this time of year for me are salad herbs like salad burnet, sylvetta arugula, alpine strawberry, cilantro, parsley.

Another method of seed starting is "winter sowing" of which I am not an expert or that accomplished but the technique is simple and successful. Its a great way for gardeners to start seed without a greenhouse or sunny window space. Seeds are sown in soil placed in a plastic container like my milk jug that is cut in half except for a small "hinge" area. Drainage holes are placed in the bottom, the lid is left on, the jug is placed outside in a secure area and left on its own to germinate. Winter sowing is done December through February. I start my fussier seeds this way. It saves me space in the greenhouse and takes very little to no watering or monitoring. These need to be secured against the Oklahoma wind so they don't travel to a neighbors yard or in my case the turnpike. Two "winter sowers" I know and love are featured in a separate blog today. Debbie Tripp who owns Rosemary Hill Herb Farm and Susan Parker, who has Recycled, Repurposed, Reimagined cards. Check out my People blog.

These are two lemon cypress trees I found late last year. A gift to myself. I stripped the bottom branches off to make topiaries. They are not hardy plants and love the sunshine. They are doing beautifully in the greenhouse amidst my eucalyptus and scented geraniums. I did cuttings on them because I can't throw clippings out ever.

Here are my lemon cypress cuttings. They have made it over a month in cutting trays and pots. No signs of roots yet but I haven't lost a single cutting yet. Good to label cuttings with NAME and DATE.

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